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Tomato Basil Risotto

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Tomato Basil Risotto is a delicious creamy Italian rice dish that is perfect for #NationalRiceMonth.

I have fallen head over heels in love with risotto. It is my most favorite rice dish. It is so creamy and you can do SO many things with it. 

When we first started making risotto, the only way I would eat it is with lemon, Parmesan, and garlic. Now, I have made so many different versions and each one gets better and better. I recently made Butternut Squash Risotto and it was phenomenal.

This version features the last of my summer tomatoes from my garden and lots of fresh basil leaves.

September is National Rice and National Whole Grains Month. The fourth week of September is National Wild Rice Week. Whole grains are nutritious. It's a great way to make foods like appetizers, salads, bread, and main courses to desserts.

In our #FestiveFoodies, we are celebrating the grains this month by sharing our favorite white rice recipes. Radha of Magical Ingredients is hosting this event. We are sharing 30 different recipes using whole grains and join us in the celebration.

What is risotto?

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish made using arborio rice because it's very starchy.

The starch in the risotto rice is what makes this dish so creamy and delicious. The starch gets released into the dish when you slowly add in liquid. I use white wine and chicken stock. 

How hard is it to make risotto?

TV cooking shows make it look hard to make risotto. If my daughter can make it, you can make it too and it's not hard at all!

The whole process usually takes about 25 minutes from start to finish and has become my favorite way to make any rice dish.

How to Make Tomato-Basil Risotto

I think the reason I love risotto so much is that it feels like a fancy restaurant meal to me, but it is super easy to make. This is one of my favorite recipes.

You’re basically stirring the rice in a large skillet over medium heat and pouring in some good chicken stock or vegetable broth over and over. From start to finish it takes about 20-25 minutes and the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.

Really, that’s it. I told you that it’s so easy and simple, really. Don’t be scared y’all, because risotto is a piece of cake.

Begin with olive oil, onions, and rice and cook until the rice is bright white and toasty and the onions are soft. These flavors are a perfect match for this dish.

Add in your cup of dry white wine and your chopped fresh tomatoes and let it cook until the rice has soaked in all the wine. For this recipe, I did not use tomato paste, but if you like the flavor of it you can add it.

Then, you will start ladling in your chicken broth or vegetable stock 1-2 ladles at a time, giving the rice time to soak the hot stock up. Stir the rice and the broth with a wooden spoon. Cook the rice until it al dente. Once you get the rice cooked, toss any remaining stock.

Also for this recipe, you will want to use good cheeses like fresh Pecorino Romano cheeses or Parmigiano-Reggiano. I keep it on hand so that when I serve dishes like this, I can grate it myself when I need it. 

The flavor you get from this cheese you just won't find that from the grated parmesan cheese sold on the shelves of the supermarket.

This creamy risotto recipe features white wine, Parmesan cheese fresh cherry tomatoes, and big fresh basil leaves. It is creamy and cheesy, with just a hint of white wine. The tomato flavor really adds some great flavor to this Creamy tomato risotto recipe.

If you want to bump the flavor up, try adding in some chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese for a Caprese risotto. Drizzle on a little blasamic glaze for another level of flavor.

Then I topped the dish with some sweet cherry tomatoes and more basil for the perfect fall dinner. I also like to add a little additional cheese on top as well. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. A little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish off is the best way to serve it. The creamy consistency of this dish will keep you coming back for bowl after bowl.

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Yield: 6 servings

Tomato Basil Risotto

Tomato Basil Risotto

This creamy risotto dish is filled to the brim with tomato and basil flavor. Get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes


    1. Bring the 6 cups of chicken broth to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer.
    2. Chop the tomatoes in half. Set aside.
    3. In a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, add the butter and onion.
    4. Saute for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until soft and golden.
    5. Add in the garlic, stirring to ensure the garlic doesn't burn, cooking until fragrant for about 1 minute.
    6. Add the rice to the onion and garlic mixture, tossing to coat.
    7. Toast the rice for about 3-5 minutes.
    8. Now, add in 1 cup of the chopped tomatoes, 4 basil leaves, julienned, and lemon zest then add the wine.
    9. Simmer over medium-low heat until the wine is almost evaporated.
    10. Add the hot stock 1 ladle at a time, stirring continuously, until the stock is almost completely absorbed and the rice is creamy and translucent (the center is no longer white) and no longer crunchy when tasted (around 25-30 minutes).
    11. Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    12. Garnish with extra chopped tomatoes, extra basil, and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1183mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g

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Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Everything is spot on with this recipe and love this fantastic rice!

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